SC American Revolution Site Grants: Planning, Acquisition, Development, Renovation

The SC American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission (SC250) offers Competitive Grants in the following levels Patriot Grants (up to $15,000), Major Grants ($15,001 to $125,000), and Premier Project Grants ($125,001+).

Patriot Grants are reviewed monthly with a deadline on the first business day of each month at 3:00 P.M. Major Grants are reviewed quarterly. Premier Grants’ deadlines are also quarterly and will go through two rounds of review including a presentation to the full Commission or Executive Committee.

One of the available grant types is the Site Grant for Planning, Acquisition, Development, or Renovation. The SC American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission (SC250) believes that not only will new battlefield site developments, pull-offs, and interpretation projects enhance cultural tourism during the anniversary, but also that these projects will have an impact into the future of their communities.

With hundreds of American Revolution people, places, and events needing to be recognized (over 400 battles and skirmishes alone in SC), SC250 is dedicated to the locating, marking, and interpreting of as many locations as possible in the upcoming years.

“I’m just expiring, but for Heaven’s sake let not Liberty expire with me.”

Sgt. McDaniels at Ft. Moultrie


Types of Site Grants

Applications may be made for site planning (including archaeology to prove site significance), acquisition, development (including docent training), and renovations (not deferred maintenance but added value).

Potential American Revolution in SC projects could include, but are not limited to:

  • Eligible Planning Projects
    • Master Planning for future pull-off, site, park
    • Updating existing master plans
    • Evaluating specific portions of an existing master plan
    • Environmental impact study of existing or proposed site, pull off
    • Historical, archeology study to prepare a site for development
    • Site specific evaluations of existing SC American Revolution sites for purposes such as handicap accessibility, safety and management techniques
    • Marketing plan for a new or current site
    • All archaeology applications should be to establish the site's significance and to prepare the site for cultural tourism development.
    • Operations and maintenance plan for current site
  • Eligible Acquisition & Development Projects
    • Acquisition and/or Development of new outdoor American Revolution site or pull off
    • Acquisition and/or Development of new indoor American Revolution site.
    • Development of roads, parking areas, support facilities, utilities and other infrastructure for public American Revolution sites making sure to be ADA compliant.
    • Improvement of natural resource features – landscaping cost cannot exceed 50% of total grant
    • Placement of a new historic marker and/or sign including design, research, and interpretation
    • Marketing of site
    • Note that construction of new buildings (particularly multi-use buildings) is not the primary goal of SC250 and should be discussed with SC250 Executive Team before applying.
    • Training of staff/volunteers as docents
  • Eligible Renovation Projects
    • All renovation projects should increase the use of the facility and not be routine maintenance.
    • Renovation of existing structures to bring them to ADA standards
    • Modifying existing structures, which are currently not being used for American Revolution recreation purposes, such that after alteration their primary use will be for public purposes
    • Improvement of natural resource features – landscaping cost cannot exceed 50% of total grant

Have another project that you think is pertinent but is not listed above? Contact the SC250 office for clarification 803-898-3392.

Site Master Development Plan

SC250 encourages applicants to include a site master development plan when applying particularly with proposed site acquisition projects. Know that review panels will be looking for answers to the following questions:

  • What is the vision and proposed use for the land? What uses of the site are envisioned/proposed?
  • What evidence do we have for the site’s significant historical importance?
  • Who are the proposed partners in the site and what will each entity bring to the table? How will you document that commitment? How will you structure project accountability?
  • What is the site’s interpretative plan?
  • Who will be responsible for executing the site development plan?
  • Who will own title to the property and protections given by conservation easements? What are the proposed conservation terms and limitations?
  • What is the long-term site maintenance plan?
  • What is the timeline for completion of the project?
  • What is the master budget including site acquisition, developing safe public access, and interpretation?
  • Does this investment align with the Commission’s goals?
  • Does this investment have the potential for a 50 year life span?

Other Site Grant Requirements

  • All sites must be located in SC and relate directly with the American Revolution Era in SC 1770-1783 (Please note that this time period of focus excludes sites more directly related to the French & Indian War or starting the new nation following the Treaties of Paris).
  • During the agreement period the Project Sponsor must ensure that:
    • the terms of the agreement are kept,
    • that the facilities will be operated for the intended purposes,
    • that maintenance will be performed on a regular basis,
    • and that the site will remain open to the public.
  • During the project agreement period the Project Sponsor may not transfer the rights, privilege, or obligations of the site without approved from SC250 or its succession designee.
  • The duration of the project agreement period is as follows:
    • Projects valued at $5000 or less = until 2033
    • Projects valued at $5,001 - $20,000 = at least until 2033 with one additional year for each $1,000 with a max of 20 years.
    • Projects valued at $20,001 and above = 20 years
  • Post Completion Responsibilities: Upon notification from the Project Sponsor through a final report, SC250 will be responsible for making a site inspection of the site prior to final grant payment.  The sponsor must abide to the following completion responsibilities:
    •  The Project Sponsor   agrees   to   operate   the   above   described   facilities   in   a nondiscriminatory manner with regards to race, color, creed, national origin, or handicap such that the general public is not prohibited  except  possibly  during  night  hours  when  it might be deemed unsafe for use.
    • The  Project  Sponsor  agrees  to  operate  and  maintain  the  above  described  facilities  in  a safe and useable manner for their intended purposes throughout the agreement period.
    • The Project Sponsor  agrees  to  erect  and  maintain  throughout  the  agreement  period  a sign  which  credits  SC250 funds for assisting in the project.
    • In the event that any portion of this agreement is applied to leased property, the Project Sponsor  must  provide  SC250 with  an  adequate  lease  to  the  subject  property  prior  to  the first billing request.  If the lease is terminated for any reason prior to the expiration date of this agreement, the Project Sponsor agrees to relocate any improvements developed under this agreement to another site which would be open for public use.  Any and all expenses for real estate, relocation and/or other expenses will be borne by the Project Sponsor.
  • Any interpretive panels or other signage:
    • must be designed in collaboration with SC250 and the SC Battleground Preservation Trust signage and consistent with these entities other signage. Final approval from SC250 is required before production.
    • must be easily visible and accessible to the public.
    • should feature significant local Revolutionary Era (1770-1783) people, places, events, or ideas.
    • should be engaging and graphically rich.
    • must be accurate, sources fully documented, or called “tradition” or “legend”.
    • must display SC250's and SC Liberty Trail’s logos.
    • use only images, wording, design, and layout to which the grantee has permanent rights.
    • In addition to standard local histories, applicants are encouraged to also tell their Revolutionary Era stories from non-traditional points of view, such as (but not limited to) Loyalist – Women – Children – enslaved and free African Americans – Native Americans.
  • Site should be “visitable” by the public at the completion of project (or as part of plan for the site).
  • Site design must meet with the parameters of:
    • Be environmentally sound (the sole responsibility for corrective action is with the Project Sponsor).
    • Minimize impact on the historic site.
    • SC DOT approval.
    • International Building Code.
    • ADA Standards and must be constructed in conformance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS). Alteration of facilities that would prevent accessibility is prohibited.
  • Project Sponsor shall provide all project management and select all artists, vendors, and consultants with final approved by SC250 before production.
  • The Project Sponsor will supply its proposed Budget and Timeline to completion.

Who Is Eligible:

Official County 250 Committees, County Governments, Municipal Governments, Tribes, Museums, Historical Societies, Visitor Centers, Chambers of Commerce, Universities/Colleges, Non-Profit Organizations, Other SC Organizations. Please note that County and Municipal Governments may designate third-party recipients (i.e. non-profit organizations) to receive grants provided that the local government applies on their behalf and the Chief Elected Official of the local government signs the application. All applicants and sites must be located in SC.

How To Apply:

Apply through the Discover SC Web Grant program making sure to include the following checklist:

  • Register with the Discover SC Web Grant program - Please note this program manages all SCPRT and SC250 Grants. Pro Tip: When completing registration make sure to select SC250 - SC American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission under Program Area of Interest.
  • Under Funding Opportunities make sure to select the correct grant - Agency: SC American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission Title: SC American Revolution Major Grants (or Patriot or Premier)
  • General Information Form
  • Cover Sheet Form
    • Make sure to mark Site Grant as your grant type.
  • Grant Narrative including Estimated Timeline & Anticipated Outcomes / Deliverables
  • Assurances & Certifications
  • Support Materials (*Required)
    • Letter of Support from your local SC County 250 Committee
      • SC250 would like to ensure that your County 250 group is in the loop when you are applying. We get more done together! Click Here for a list of contacts for the local county committees. Don't see your county contact? Reach out to hhawkins@southcarolina250.com.
      • If you are a County 250 Committee, you can skip this requirement.
      • If you are not located in SC but are working on American Revolution in SC material, upload a document that states such.
    • Contact Spreadsheet Click Here for a Sample Spreadsheet
      • Project Sponsor staff/members who would like to be added to SC250 enewsletter, etc.VIPs to keep in the loop (Local Media, Elected Officials, Volunteers, Donors, etc.)
    • Fiscal Agent Documentation*
      • Fiscal Agent’s W-9 (make sure it is signed)
      • Fiscal Agent’s adopted budget for the current fiscal year
      • Fiscal Agent’s operating financial statement for last fiscal year
        • If the Fiscal Agent has just been established, some documentation to that fact
    • If the applicant or fiscal agent is a Non-Profit, we also need the following documentation:*
      • IRS 501c3 letter or 501c6 letter (not EIN letter but non-profit designation letter)
      • Secretary of State Annual Charity Registration letter (make sure not expired)
      • List of Board members
      • Mission of Non-profit
    • If signage is part of the project scope:
      • Any documents describing signage or location.
      • If completed, please include: final verbiage, design of sign, type of sign (historic marker or interpretive sign or directional sign), and location.
      • If determined, information on peer reviewer and/or historian contributing to verbiage.
      • If determined, photos of location, site map of property with County Map #, GIS Shapemap of property, etc.
      • Documentation of land ownership, lease, easement, or memorandum of understanding with landowner.*
      • If these items are not ready, know that they must be submitted to and approved by SC250 prior to ordering. And, these items will be required in the final report.
    • If land acquisition is part of the project scope, the following items will be required prior to closing (include in application if ready):
      • letter of intent to purchase
      • appraisal
      • clear title
      • conservation easement on property to be purchased
      • access easement
      • (if applicable) a copy of any easement already held on the property
      • boundary survey / plat
        • full site address
        • county tax map #(s)
        • current zoning status
        • GIS Shape map
      • phase one environmental hazard assessment
      • title insurance commitment
      • full description of the property including total acreage, type of land coverage
      • management/financial resources plan
      • pictures of proposed site
      • conflict of interest disclosure
      • Site map of property/survey
      • Historical Significance Certification Form
      • Conflict of Interest Disclosure
      • SC250 may require additional documentation before the award of the project and/or fund distribution.
    • Any other documents that support your request. For example: if planning on using grant funds to pay a consultant, submit resume and/or sample works of consultant if already selected / REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) if not.
    • Applicants are encouraged to submit early and/or contact SC250 to discuss.
  • Grant Application Budget
    • Eligible Planning Costs
      • Cost of legal advertisement in newspapers for the purposes of procurement or notice of public meetings
      • Consultant fees and charges
      • Printing costs
      • Professional “In-House” labor for the development of plans, not to exceed 20% of total project cost without prior SC250 approval.
      • Upon completion of the planning project, one (1) copy of the final document must be forwarded to SC250 along with required documentation for the final billing.
    • Eligible Development Costs
      • Cost of legal advertisement in newspapers for the purposes of procurement or notice of public meetings
      • Architectural/Historical/Engineering/Construction Management fees. The total of which may not exceed 12% of the total project cost without prior SC250 approval.
      • Site improvements including clearing, grading, etc. in preparation for the development of the site or pull-off
      • Signage for the site (both interpretive and directional or safety oriented)
      • Building materials, supplies, and specialty materials for construction of new facilities.
      • Contractual cost for construction affiliated with new structures.
      • Professional “In-House” labor for the construction of new sites not to exceed 20% of total project cost.
    • Eligible Renovation Costs
      • Cost of legal advertisement in newspapers for the purposes of procurement or notice of public meetings
      • Architectural/Historical/Engineering/Construction Management fees. The total of which may not exceed 12% of the total project cost without prior SC250 approval.
      • Site improvements including clearing, grading, etc. in preparation for the development of the site or pull-off
      • Signage for the site (both interpretive and directional or safety oriented)
      • Building materials, supplies, and specialty materials for construction of new facilities.
      • Contractual cost for construction affiliated with new structures.
      • Professional “In-House” labor for the construction of new sites not to exceed 20% of total project cost.
    • Please note that permit costs associated with construction are not eligible. Any construction or maintenance equipment and tools are not eligible.
    • Budget Best Practices:
      • Not all budget categories may be compatible with your grant type. Feel free to skip a section. For example: we do not expect to see land acquisition in the County 250 Organizing Grants.
      • If the grant request amount is part of a larger budget, please only include SC250 funding requests in each breakdown section.
      • Make sure to not exceed the total amount available for this grant type in the breakdown SC250 request sections. This up to amount is listed in the Amount section below.
      • The total budget could be larger if you have additional funding from other sources. If there are any additional funds in your total budget, document them in the Cost Share / Matching Funds section.)
      • Does your grant require a match? Checking out the Match or Cost Share Required section below.
      • If your grant does require a match, remember that the percentage is part of the total budget not 20% or 50% of your ask.
      • In-kind match can be documented to show support, however, it cannot be used in the formal match amount.
      • Personnel refers to staffing, while contractual refer to any person you are hiring for a specific task.
      • Administrative staffing should represent no more than 20% of the budget request.
      • Feel free to contact SC250 with questions at hhawkins@southcarolina250.com.

Amount:

Based on grant level. Applicants are encouraged to submit early and/or contact SC250 to discuss prior to applying especially for larger grant requests.

FY24 Anticipated Application Deadlines:

Patriot Grant FY24 Anticipated Deadlines: The first business day of each month at 3:00 P.M. Eastern (2/1/24, 3/4/24, 4/1/24, 5/1/24, 6/3/24)
Major & Premier Grant FY24 Anticipated Deadlines: Cycle 2: March 26, 2024, Cycle 3: June 16, 2024
All deadlines are not postmarked dates as all applications must be submitted in the Discover SC Web Grants program. Dates subject to change.

FY24 Anticipated Grant Award Dates:

Patriot Grant FY24 Anticipated Award Dates: The first business day of the following month
Major & Premier Grant FY24 Anticipated Award Dates: Cycle 2: May 10, 2024 Cycle 3: September 1, 2024
Application responses can be award/fund, award/partially fund, not award, and requiring more due diligence for a final decision. More due diligence would, of course, delay a final award date if eventually approved. This is especially true with expensive site grants. Pro Tip: plan ahead and leave plenty of time between your application and the project start date.

Match or Cost Share Required:

Based on grant level. Patriot Grants do not require a match. However, match and partnerships are highly encouraged. Major Grants require a 20% match. Premier Grants require a 25% match. This is a % of the total budget (not a % of the ask).
Tip for figuring 20% match: Divide the grant request amount by .80 then multiple that number by .20.
Match can exceed match requirement amount.

Make sure to include details about those matching funds in your grant application budget. It is great to document on grant budgets in-kind match such as volunteer hours, food donated by the local merchants association, etc. This shows great local buy in! However, please keep in mind that in-kind donations cannot be used for required matching percentage. 

Remember that final reports will require documentation that any required matching funds have been expended (invoices and proof of payment).

Grant Distribution:

Competitive Grants will be distributed with 80% upfront and 20% appropriated upon approval of completed final report including documentation of deliverables, measurement of success, and receipts/proof of payment showing the full grant amount plus any required match has been spent on the project. | With select Site Acquisition Grants, 100% of the funding may be distributed directly to the closing attorney/agent to hold in escrow once certain documents have been submitted. More details available upon grant award.

Helpful Links:

How to Register for the Discover SC Web Grants Program
How to Submit Your Application in the Discover SC Web Grants Program
SC250 Webinars
Sample Contact Excel Spreadsheet - Required Support Material for Most Grants
Word Document with Paper Version of Application for Reference and Preparation Only - Please note that all applicants must be completed in the Discover SC Web Grants Program.


*Grant funding is dependent on allocations from the State Legislature each year. SC250 may choose to fund, not fund, or partially fund applications. The Commission retains the right to make exceptions or alter the up to amount that may be approved for each grant. All information is intended to be a summary and subject to change. Contact info@SouthCarolina250.com or 803-898-3392 for more information.

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